If Hong Kong ends up being just another Chinese megacity it will lose its role as a leading financial center. Alexander Görlach looks at whether Taiwan or Singapore could serve as alternatives.
The People's Republic of China has maintained its frontal attack on the technically independent city of Hong Kong. On Monday, prominent members of the pro-democracy Demosisto movement — including Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam — were arrested. A court is expected to decide their fate next week.
Demosisto had disbanded in July after Beijing introduced a national security law which effectively labeled pro-democracy campaigning in Hong Kong a crime. Beijing has not shied away from kidnapping pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and in light of such political developments the island could forfeit its position as an important global financial center.
Both Singapore and Taiwan could take Hong Kong's place, with the former perhaps having a head start since it is already an important financial hub in Asia. But this de facto one-party state is also far from being a democracy: Here too, rights activists can also be jailed for very little.
In March, 40-year-old activist Jolovan Wham, who has primarily defended the rights of migrant workers in Singapore, was arrested by authorities for standing on a street corner and holding up piece of cardboard with a smiley face scrawled on it. [FULL STORY]